NOLAmotion Blog

October 22, 2009

Cashio Cochran Takes “Risks” in City Park

Just what every ancient live oak needs: a man-made building.

Just what every ancient live oak needs: a man-made building.

Thanks to Lolis Elie and the Times-Picayune for telling the story of how I’ve been trying to promote best practices for tree care in our area.

This is just a brief post for new visitors. I’ll be updating in greater detail later. But, I have to address a statement made by landscape architect Carlos Cashio in today’s article. He says that “sometimes you take risks to accomplish certain design elements.” My response is NO, YOU DO NOT TAKE RISKS WITH MATURE LIVE OAKS IN CITY PARK. Ever.

I post these pictures to let you decide for yourself. What is more beautiful: Carlos Cashio’s concrete and brick pyramid-hat building or God’s ancient live oak?

Architectural symmetry is more important to Cashio Cochran than the beauty of an older live oak.

Architectural symmetry is more important to Cashio Cochran than the beauty of an older live oak.

It’s past time to let some of the true stewards and visionaries in the field of landscape architecture shape the future of this precious place. We already know what Cashio Cochran can do, and it does not meet my standards of the concept of legacy.

After I challenged this construction, sand was used under the brick rather than concrete. However, sand has little pore space to allow air, water and nutrients to reach the tree roots, so the tree will suffer so we can walk on bricks. Harming the oaks steals from the future and violates the standards of stewardship needed for the park.

After I challenged this construction, sand was used under the brick rather than concrete. However, sand has little pore space to allow air, water and nutrients to reach the tree roots, so the tree will suffer so we can walk on bricks. Harming the oaks steals from the future and violates our history.

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6 Comments »

  1. Today a crew showed up at 5620 Arts St, NOLA 70122 to begin cutting down a mature live oak that I estimate to be at least 90 to 100 years old. Please send help!!!!

    Comment by Paul Bernard — October 23, 2009 @ 12:19 am | Reply

  2. Paul, I’m sorry to hear this. But there is no help to be sent. That’s part of the problem. You can contact Park and Parkways, a city agency, and tell them. If it’s on city property they’re supposed to have a permit. Otherwise, it’s private property.

    We need stronger tree ordinances and we need more outreach to educate citizens and contractors.

    Comment by nolamotion — October 23, 2009 @ 6:43 am | Reply

  3. That’s a really neat story, I’m glad you got some coverage from TP. I had what you may call a religious experience in an oak tree once at 8 yrs old and once at 18. Being from South Louisiana we don’t have mountains, so we can’t have the mountaintop experience that others experience, but I think that God gave us oak trees instead. It’s the same awe inspiring principle, except in miniature.

    Thanks for all your work that you are doing to bring awareness and action about.

    Smiles,

    Julie :)

    Comment by Julie — October 23, 2009 @ 8:48 am | Reply

  4. I Linked here from the T-P story, and like you I am dismayed at the destruction of our live oaks through pure stupidity. My street was re-paved in 2005…and this year they came a cut down two mature live oaks, killed by the pure stupidity and ignorance of the street repair contractors.

    Complaining isn’t going to get it done. What is the best way to take action? IMO the law needs to be changed such that ANY construction under the canopy of a live oak requires the sign-off of an independent expert arborist. The idea that arborists can be hired by the project is a complete joke – as if any for-hire arborist who stops a project is going to last for more than 15 minutes before being fired and replaced with a more complicit yes-man. It is such an obvious conflict of interest that their claims of preservation merit nothing but reidicule.

    How does one go about getting local ordinances changed – the city council? I am woefully ignorant of how this works, but we need to figure it out. Perhaps another reader with greater insight into the process can elighten us?

    Comment by Will — October 23, 2009 @ 9:13 am | Reply

  5. Thank you, Steve Picou, for your hard work and devotion to trees. Thank you, Lolis Eric Elie, for the fabulous front page article. I, too, am a tree lover and worrier. I’d like to become a tree warrior, but don’t know where to turn.

    I grew up in a big old house at 4157 Canal Street in Mid City. My great-grandparents built it in 1908, and family members still live there. The oak tree in front is probably as old. I cannot imagine the house without it, but I fear that is what will happen. It looks brittle and sparce and very unhappy. My family has always purchased the fertilizer the city has offered to use on it. Is there anything else we can do? It is on public property.

    Another concern is for a tree on private property across the street from me. It was oh so happy and thriving before the federal flood. (There are many oaks in the area that were flooded but are doing well.) The house on the property was demolished and the lot was bought by the nextdoor neighbor to expand their yard. They have put a garden on top of the roots, and I am afraid that’s what is killing it. It, too, looks brittle and sparse. I gently mentioned it to the woman, who assured me the tree was fine, (it’s not) and that they have such a fine tree expert taking care of it. (Yeah, right. It looks sicker and sicker.) I recently saw that one of those palms that starts out looking like a palmetto, but grows into a full-sized palm tree, is growing in the crook of the tree’s branches. I pulled the man aside and told him. Nothing. It’s killing me to look out my window and watch this tree’s agony and death. Can you suggest something I can do for a tree on private property? Thanks.

    Comment by Jan — October 23, 2009 @ 2:09 pm | Reply

  6. WE travel about 12 states. The live oaks in the New Orleans area are amoung my favorite. We do alot of work in Savahan Georgia. They do a wonderful job with the protection of their live oak tree if anyone is interested I know a few people that i’m sure could give very good info

    Comment by Nick Burks — June 28, 2010 @ 10:52 am | Reply


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